Top 10 Budget Video Lighting Hacks | Ideal Insight

09 February 2022
Top 10 Budget Video Lighting Hacks Ideal Insight feature
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These video lighting hacks can help you achieve great results on a budget. Explore the top 10 best video lighting hacks with our guide.

The right time to get started with video production for your brand is now – and it might be easier than you think!

Early trends for 2022 predict that video content will continue to dominate digital marketing channels. A recent study by Statista has revealed that online video consumption is on the rise – again! In fact, in 2020, 3 billion internet users across the world watched branded video content online. This is expected to continue to grow at a rapid rate, rising annually to a staggering 3.5 billion online video audience in 2023.

Not only is a growing number of people consuming video content online, but those who are already watching are watching more of it. Statista further stated that the average global consumer watches an average of 84 minutes of online video per day – this is predicted to rise by 2023.

Online video is as quick to adapt as it is to grow, so staying on top of ever-changing trends can be tricky for business owners. What this means is that as a brand, it’s imperative you tap into these video trends to maximise your digital marketing strategy. Saying this, as a team of busy Videographers and social media specialists, we understand that this is easier said than done for over-stretched business owners!

One guaranteed solution to achieving compelling video content for your brand is to work with a professional and experienced video production agency. At Ideal Insight, our process has been optimised to support busy business owners and includes a deep-dive briefing session with a designated Creative Expert and the first draft of your video project delivered within 2 weeks. As an affordable, reliable and timely solution to bespoke video production, we make bespoke branded video available for brands both big and small.

However, with bespoke video production comes a price tag. Video production is previously is expensive, slow-moving and takes a significant amount of time for brands to manage. This reputation for bespoke video still somewhat dominates the industry, leaving many small to medium-sized organisations thinking that bespoke video is inaccessible for them. Whilst this isn’t the case here at Ideal Insight, it’s no surprise that many organisations across the globe are left feeling like this.

Whether starting from scratch with your brand’s online video – or if you are already hot on the video trends with bespoke video production and looking to create additional content for your brand – as a business owner it’s imperative to generate as much online video content as possible to compel your audience.

The good news is that there are a series of simple ways that you can create compelling and engaging videos yourself. Read on for our top-secret video lighting hacks and learn how to create professional-looking video content from the comfort of your own office.

Why is lighting so important for Video Production?

You don’t have to be an expert to get started with video production. With a quiet room, a good-quality mobile phone camera and a tripod to hold your phone steady, convincing video content can be created anytime and anywhere!

During the years we’ve been operating we’ve seen lots of brands post DIY video content, and the slightly more ‘authentic’ DIY videos all have one giveaway in common: poor lighting.

It’s not easy to perfect the lighting for a shoot and it takes lighting experts months and years to train and learn to perfect studio lighting. We’ve quizzed our lighting experts and revealed a few cheap and effective video lighting hacks to help you make professional, branded content from the office.

Read on to see our 10 video lighting tips – as we said, you don’t have to be an expert to get started with video production! Learn our video lighting hacks below and make your brand’s video look like it was made by a pro!

Video Lighting Tip 1: Beveled drinking glass

Video lighting hacks can be as simple as using a glass of water to create an interesting background! Probably the most common oversight we see with new or inexperienced filmmakers is dull or uninspiring backgrounds.

This quick-fix requires no skill and no fancy film equipment. Simply fill a glass with water and place it in front of a light. The light will refract through the water to create a textured projection on your background.

Video Lighting Tip 2: Purchase a mini LED light

When you film indoors, you should pay particular attention to the light in your video. Enhance your primary lighting by investing in a compact LED light, which is guaranteed to make your shoot look immediately more professional.

Compact lights are cheap and available from online vendors such as Amazon, setting you back only a few pounds. Compacts are cheap, small, lightweight and because of this easy to secure in place – all you need is a blob of blue-tac!

Video Lighting Tip 3: Manipulate shadow

One of the most important lighting controls in DIY video is to engineer your shadows – ensure your video creates the desired outcome with this video lighting hack! Whilst shadow engineering does require a bit of skill, after a small amount of practise you’ll be a pro!

Before you set up your light sources, consider the effect you want to create in your finished video. Do you want your product entirely lit up? (We call this soft light – soft light is typical for branded videos, and helps to portray a clean and direct message – this can be achieved by balancing two similar light sources on either side of the camera.)

Or do you want to cast hard light over your video? (Hard light uses shadow to add depth and will create a dramatic edge to your shoot.) Once you’ve decided, position your light source accordingly and get started!

Video Lighting Tip 4: Foil flashlight

Purchasing a mini LED light was one of our previous video lighting hacks. Portable, light, cheap and easy to adjust, compact LED lights are ideal for an ambient blast of light, however are not so practical for hitting a specific spot!

Direct the light to the spot you want by crafting a tube of tinfoil and fastening your LED at one end of the tube. The foil will reflect and redirect the light to your desired spot.

Video Lighting Tip 5: Colour filters

Achieve a different colour shade by using colour filters to create colour effects. Basic, heat-resistant colour filters are available in most online stores or camera shops for under £5. Most stores will sell colour filters in a pack, however, if you are looking to save budget simply buy a single blue, red and yellow filter and combine them to create your desired colour.

Not only are colour filters useful for creating a filter, but they can also be used to control other lighting elements such as the harshness of your light source. For example, if you are filming indoors and the light appears yellow, use a blue filter to cancel out the yellow light and make the light white.

Video Lighting Tip 6: Time your shoot

The next of our video lighting hacks is crucial if you are shooting outdoors. Shooting outside is slightly more challenging when it comes to achieving desired lighting effects due to the unpredictability of elements such as sunlight harshness.

Outdoors it’s best to film either in the morning or evening, as midday light coming from overhead can cast unflattering shadows. If you don’t have the luxury of filming anytime of the day, try finding a shaded area or hold out for a cloudy day when the sunlight won’t be as powerful.

Video Lighting Tip 7: Pringles tube flashlight

Similar to our foil-crafted flashlight, a pringles tube is a great (and tasty) video lighting hack to create a controlled and intense light source. Also, since it involves eating a whole tube of Pringles, we are so on board with this one!!!

Simply cut the sealed end of the Pringles tube off using scissors, and fasten your light securely using tape. Place your Pringles tube in the desired place and the job is done!

Video Lighting Tip 8: Using a plastic bag to create a vintage look

Nope, we aren’t kidding… video editing can be tricky and takes time that you probably don’t have. However, this quick trick creates a focused shot with blurry edges and allows you to add exciting vintage light effects to your video without the need for editing software.

Simply cut an uneven hole at the bottom of a clear plastic bag (zip-locks work best, and make sure the hole is big enough not to cover the inside of your lens) and place it over your lens. As you begin shooting, move the bag around to create interesting light effects.

Video Lighting Tip 9: Avoid overhead lighting

Avoid this common lighting mistake with the easiest of our video lighting hacks.

Overhead lighting casts unflattering shadows on faces and products, and will provide significant emphasis on the areas you might not want to focus on. This a challenge when filming in indoor spaces as lights are typically overhead, however lamps, phone torches and windows can all be used to manipulate light to a more flattering angle.

Video Lighting Tip 10: White light tent

Our final hack is ideal for capturing a video with a white background. White light tents are used to give a clean visual with the illusion of a floating product – perfect if you want your product to be the centre of attention!

To get started, find a cardboard box a few inches larger than your product and remove the front of the box to create an opening. Fasten sheets of white paper securely to all sides of the inside of the box. Once the inside of your box is fully covered, attach a piece of white cloth (around the size of one side of your box) from halfway up the back side to the bottom of the box, pulling the cloth to create a slope down.

Place your product in front of the slopped cloth inside the box, and add lighting to achieve your desired effect.

So there we have it, there are our quick, easy and affordable DIY video lighting hacks to help your brand reap the benefits of online video!

Despite our easy hacks, video production undeniably still takes time, and many business owners might not have the spare time to dedicate to content creation. At Ideal Insight, we have a team of dedicated video creators for big bespoke video projects, and monthly videos included in our fully-managed social media management packages.

Affordable, timely and fully managed, our experts will connect your brand and audience through compelling, attention-grabbing video and social media content. We’ve worked with brands both big and small – from Nike, to Lloyds Bank, to the London Road Safety Council and startups – and refined our efficient process to deliver compelling video content for brands with as much or as little input as you would like.

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